Ventra Prepaid Banking Partner Has Long Reputation For Legal Difficulty

Ventra Prepaid Banking Partner Has Long Reputation For Legal Difficulty

Metabank is component regarding the Ventra system partnership that is public-private

Beyond the each and every day issues plaguing the Ventra rollout lies a possibly more troubling reality: The banking partner opted for within the Ventra system seemingly have a long reputation for appropriate dilemmas associated with previous involvement in prepaid debit schemes along with other tasks.

The public-private partnership set up to perform Ventra includes (at the very least) four entities aside from the CTA: First information, Cubic Transportation techniques, Mastercard and Metabank.

Metabank, section of keeping business Meta Financial Group, Inc., ended up being opted for by Cubic as being a partner when you look at the debit that is prepaid part of this program, in accordance with the CTA. Situated in Storm Lake, Ia., Metabank ended up being as soon as referred to as First Midwest Financial and it has always been tangled up in producing and running payment that is electronic such as prepaid debit card programs, in component through its Metapay subsidiary.


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Nevertheless, Metabank has skilled a number of appropriate and ethical issues since 2004. Several of those issues are pertaining to problems such as for example fraudulence, participating in misleading company techniques when you look at the subprime lending market and in addition directly pertaining to running a prepaid debit card system just like Ventra.

A short breakdown of Metabank’s publicly-available history that is legal:

  • In 2004, the Sioux Falls class District filed suit alleging that MetaBank improperly permitted funds which belonged into the college region become deposited into, and afterwards withdrawn from, an account that is corporate by a member of staff associated with college region.
  • In 2007, MetaBank had been sued along with a roster of participating banks for supplying a number of loans and credit lines to car dealerships operating underneath the J.D. Byrider brand name, accused in days gone by of predatory financing methods into the subprime auto market. It had been alleged MetaBank “participated when you look at the scheme that is fraudulent by virtue of supplying these personal lines of credit and loans despite being conscious of the predatory customer methods for the dealerships, and therefore MetaBank profited by getting undisclosed “special advantages” for providing these loans.

  • Each of wire fraud, making a false statement in a bank’s books or records, money laundering and aggravated identity theft in 2009, a Metabank employee embezzled more than $4 million by selling false certificates of deposit (CDs) and was sentenced to seven years in a federal prison after pleading guilty to one count. Metabank had been afterwards sued by other banking institutions for deficiencies in guidance over its workers as well as for refusing to provide the funds right straight straight back.
  • This year, a well known short-term loan item produced by Meta Financial Group called iAdvance was halted by the workplace of Thrift Supervision associated with the Securities and Exchange Commission due to alleged unfair or misleading functions or techniques in violation of Section 5 associated with Federal Trade Commission Act while the OTS Advertising Regulations. MetaBank decided to spend $5.2 million in restitution and fines on the scheduled system, which offered payday and income income tax reimbursement loans in the shape of prepaid debit cards. During the time, Metabank had been prohibitied from entering into “any new 3rd party relationship agreements concerning any credit item, deposit item (including prepaid access), or automated teller machine”.
  • This season, Metabank’s particpation in a favorite system which marketed prepaid reloadable debit cards to primarily underbanked customers called NetSpend developed dilemmas for NetSpend’s IPO as a result of Metabank’s previous issues with any office of Thrift Supervision. The OTS had directed MetaBank, had given about 71 per cent of NetSpend’s prepaid cards, to acquire approval for entering home based business partnerships or materially amending current people. The OTS regualtory action on Metabank had been applauded by customer advocate teams.
  • In 2011, Metabank ended up being tangled up in a lawsuit alleging something special card granted by Metabank charged a client $15 to utilize the card, despite having a stability of $17.71 left in the card for acquisitions. The suit alleged breach of agreement and “deceptive, deceptive, and fraudulent conduct”.

Every one of that leads to a different question that is key that which was the choice procedure the CTA utilized in picking its lovers for the Ventra system, and just just what criteria ended up being found in determing Metabank’s skills? Also, exactly just exactly what oversight existed within the development associated with whole Ventra system?

The council members can ask of officials they call to testify if the Chicago City Council decides to go ahead and hold hearings over problems with the rollout of the Ventra program, as some aldermen want to do, there’s likely to be a whole series of questions.

Here’s another place that is good begin.

To some extent One of Ward Room’s series on feasible City Council hearings on Ventra issues, we looked over the good main reasons why CTA joined right into a partnership with personal businesses for Ventra. To some extent Two, we examined means Ventra’s banking partner might be profiting from charges.

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